Anion channels, including ClC-3, are required for normal neutrophil oxidative function, phagocytosis, and transendothelial migration

Jessica G. Moreland, A. Paige Davis, Gail Bailey, William M. Nauseef, Fred S. Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


NADPH oxidase activity, phagocytosis, and cell migration are essential functions of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) in host defense. The cytoskeletal reorganization necessary to perform these functions has been extensively studied, but the role of cell volume regulation, which is likely dependent upon anion channels, has not been defined. Mice lacking the anion channel ClC-3 (Clcn3(-/-)) died from presumed sepsis following intravascular catheter placement, whereas Clcn3(+/+) littermates survived. We hypothesized that ClC-3 has a critical role in host defense and reasoned that PMN function would be compromised in these mice. Clcn3 (-/-) PMNs displayed markedly reduced NADPH oxidase activity in response to opsonized zymosan and modestly reduced activity after phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate. Human PMNs treated with the anion channel inhibitors niflumic acid or 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)benzoic acid had a very similar defect. ClC-3 protein was detected in the secretory vesicles and secondary granules of resting PMNs and was up-regulated to the phagosomal membrane. Clcn3(-/-) PMNs and human PMNs lacking normal anion channel function both exhibited reduced uptake of opsonized zymosan at 1, 5, and 10 min in a synchronized phagocytosis assay. Niflumic acid-treated PMNs also had impaired transendothelial migration in vitro, whereas migration in vivo was not altered in Clcn3(-/-) PMNs. Selective inhibition of the swelling-activated chloride channel with tamoxifen profoundly reduced PMN migration but had no effect on NADPH oxidase activity. In summary, PMNs lacking normal anion channel function exhibited reduced NADPH oxidase activity, diminished phagocytosis, and impaired migration. ClC-3 was specifically involved in the respiratory burst and phagocytosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12277-12288
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 5 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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